By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press
After years of trying to keep marijuana out of schools, educators across the country are grappling with how to administer cannabis to students with prescriptions for it.
Medical marijuana has been legal in some states for two decades, but school districts and lawmakers are only now starting to tackle thorny issues about student use of a drug still illegal under federal law.
“School districts are trying to find their way and navigate this landscape as laws develop and social norms change,” said Francisco Negron, general counsel of the National School Boards Association. “This is a situation in which the changing social norms are ahead of the existing operational structure.”
The possibility of medical marijuana in schools raises a number of questions for school officials, such as who will administer it, how to prevent it from being redistributed by students, and even the legality of having it on campus. Only three of the 23 states where medical marijuana is legal have seen schools or state officials set up rules, according to the pro-reform Marijuana Policy Project.
This week, a school committee in Auburn, a Maine city of about 23,000, approved a policy to allow students to have medical marijuana under certain conditions. It would have to be approved by a physician and administered in school by a parent or guardian, Auburn assistant superintendent Michelle McClellan said. Nurses wouldn’t be able to administer the drug and students would not be permitted to smoke it.